Soccer Specific Workouts – Weight Training For Soccer

Contrary to popular belief, merely lifting weights and attempting to lift more and more each workout will not necessarily transform a Shawn Wright-Phillips, a small, quick winger, into a Didier Drogba, an unbelievable physical specimen at striker. It might make Shawn Wright-Phillips into a bigger player, but he would definitely lose his soccer ability which relies on his speed and technical expertise. Essentially, there are soccer specific workouts particularly in weight training. For soccer, a player’s strength comes into play in a variety of circumstances. For example, a player must be able to jostle his opponent off a 50/50 ball to keep position or shield his defender off the ball to buy time for his team to support him. As a result, there are multiple types of weight training for soccer.

These types consist of basic and maximal strength training, explosive power training, and muscular endurance training. Basic strength training is aimed to build a firm and stable muscular foundation. Because soccer is such as multi-faceted game, some muscles tend to be overused while others are underused. As a result, basic strength training is designed to strengthen the underused muscles. Maximal strength training, however, attempts to develop a player’s basic strength. This type of training consists of using very heavy weight for a small number of repetitions to increase a player’s maximal strength.

Essentially, maximal strength training prepares the player’s body to partake in explosive power training and muscular endurance training. Explosive power training, more importantly, is designed to enable a player to run faster, jump higher, etc. Basically, explosive power determines how fast a player can apply the strength he has built up through basic and maximal strength training in a game. Lastly, muscular endurance training focuses on maintaining a player’s strength throughout an entire match. This training consists of circuit training where lighter weights are used for more repetitions. Typical circuit training exercises include: pushups, sit-ups, and squats.

Overall, soccer players require strength in both the lower and upper body. Nearly every movement in the game from kicking, to tackling, to twisting and turning, sprinting and heading, requires a good foundation of strength and power. Therefore, there are a variety of soccer specific workouts.

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Learn Football Skills to Play Like Pele

Football is an entertaining game. It is one of the most played and popular games along the length and breadth of the world. Some basic skills are required to play football. The star players of this game are known for their accomplished skill that sets them apart from run of the mills. It takes dodged determination, extensive practice and intensive training to bend it like Beckham! If you are keen on making football your career, you must take your basic skill a few notches ahead in order to shine.

What are those fundamental football skills that we are talking about? Let us find out.

Running: A good pace and presence of mind are a must for anyone wishing to be a good footballer. Whether you want to be a defender, midfielder or a scorer, good running gives an extra edge to your skill. Even the goalkeeper needs flexibility of body and skill of quick running to stop a powerful shot.

Passing: It is another important fundamental skill, especially for the quarterback. They also need some other skills such as good dribbling, body control, ball handling and solid arm strength. In case of passing, accuracy is more important than arm strength. You should acquire skill in order to manage the field as well as control the game. When it comes to passing, focus is also very important as the opponents’ defense will try to snatch the ball away while someone is making his way through the last quarter of the pitch. For a single pass, you have only one chance to complete it and must have several skills to succeed in your attempt most of the time.

Catching: The shot-stopper is allowed to catch the ball by using any part of the body. However, others should have skill of catching the ball on ground as well as in aerial fight. Whoever wants to catch the ball must be every fast and focused. Flexibility of body is also a must to catch the ball at the right time to prevent any assault on one’s net.

Tackling: This skill is usually required by the players in the defensive front. A low center of gravity is a requirement for every blocker as it helps the player control their balance while blocking to avoid tripping forward. Tackling or blocking requires strong physical ability and tremendous pace. It is the most physical aspect of football. Three qualities are a must for the blockers – strength, speed and suppleness. They stop the opponents’ frontmen from advancing with the ball into the box.

Conclusion

Every skill is important as football is a team game though individual’s brilliance also counts. Every professional player has one or many football skills, depending on the position he plays at. In this ball game, change in position is very important and so the players are required to acquire several skills to put to good use in different positions.

The next time when you will watch a rousing match, you will be able to learn more about the skills required to make it top on the professional level.

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Football – No Where to Hide!

There is a game full of passion and excitement. A game where anything can change in 30 seconds. A game called ‘FOOTBALL’. I can proudly say that it is the ‘in’ thing in the sporting world. The popularity of football is increasing at a very fast rate in India. A country which is fully engulfed in cricket has started to finally bend towards football. Here, football can be considered as breath of fresh air. Different football academies are trying to increase the craze further by having competitions and coaching programs for the children.

Many professional players have also visited India in the last few years giving a wealth of knowledge to everyone interested in the game.

One would also remember that recently Germany’s most decorated club Bayern Munich came to India to play against East Bengal in a friendly. The match was witnessed by a full crowd. All these activities are only going to increase the fan base of football in India.

People of all age groups are interested in the game including the girls. This is one sport you can talk about with your girlfriend. Many different football leagues in the world also have women’s football team which is further creating interest in girls. Girls are also keeping track of football matches through the usage of internet. All sort of information is available on the net relating to any form of football.

Even the film industry is doing its part in creating soccer mania. Films like bend it like Beckham, in which a woman aspires to be a footballer just like David Beckham has created a stir among women about football, or Goal (international version) showed a man willing to do anything to play football, or Goal (Indian Version) which also showed how Indians living in England love to play football etc. This is not all, even the actors in bollywood like John Abraham, who has a large female following has be supporting football on television. He was also present in the commercial for euro championships which are currently going on. All this shows that football fever is going to affect not only in India but globally.

The craze is so much that you can notice a significant increase in clubs jerseys in India. On the streets, one of every 5 person will have a football jersey on. This sudden surge only supports the fact that football is the ‘in’ thing. The euro championships have taken the craze of football to the next level. Everywhere you go you can see hoardings of football players or teams on the walls or the malls etc. All in all the tournament has given a boost of football to the people and after the tournament is over, there would be the start of the football season with the leagues like Premier League, La Liga, Seria A etc will get started. All this keeps the fans craving for more.

Also the mobile companies have come up with schemes that help you keep track of your favorite team wherever you go. You can check live scores, match updates, live commentary, in-depth analysis by the pundits etc on the go. The internet has also played a pivotal role in creating football mania. Many informative sites like goal.com gives the viewers all the information needed in knowing about football, keeps us up to date with current transfer news occurring around the world, what all is happening in FIFA community etc. You can even check how your team is doing while checking your e-mail as many sites sent you latest news as when it happens. Many sites also have competitions section where you can test your knowledge about football. TV shows also help bring football to the viewers from different countries, most notably being nokia football crazy.

All in all I would like to say that the FIFA mania will never end and you should also be part of it if you don’t want be a social outcast. I would like to finish off with a quote that’s says enough about the passion of football.

“Some people think that football is a matter of life and death, I am disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you my friend, it is much more that that.”

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Pele Is The Greatest Soccer Player Of All Time

With another world cup looming on the horizon the debate as to who is the greatest soccer player of all time has heated up again.

Each generation has had its own “great”, so we had Puskas (Hungary) in the 1950’s, Pele (Brazil) in the 1960’s, Maradona (Argentina) in the 1980’s and now we have Messi (Argentina).

In my opinion, the debate so far has failed to focus on one important factor which is that in deciding who is the greatest it is not sufficient to look at who could play the game well but you also have to look at what they achieved. The measure of greatness is not only how you play but largely what you achieve. Lots of players were excellent but never achieved anything or set any records.

Comparing players with each other is largely a matter of opinion which is always open to argument and counter-argument. Also, opinions are always laced with speculation and value-judgments and each generation claims ownership of the greatest.

On the other hand, the question of achievements and records are a matter of fact and is not open to argument or contradiction. You are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts. It is from these facts that one can decide who is the greatest.

For the purpose of the ‘who is the greatest?’ debate it is necessary to look at players across generation lines and match up their achievements against each other and compare them.

PELE

When you look at the record of achievements of one player, he will never be equaled and all great soccer players are measured against the Brazilian who once made the world stop to watch his mesmerizing play.

His name is Edison Arantes do Nascimento (Pele). He was born in 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He grew up in poverty and could not afford a soccer ball so he would use a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string or grapefruit to practice his skills (Pele Biography -Soccer Maniak, by Armin Serdarevic).

A look at Pele’s remarkable record of achievements will not end the debate about the greatest but should leave no doubt that Pele’s status as the King of soccer is unchallenged.

In (Pele Biography etc.), his records are first highlighted and then his domestic and international achievements are listed as follows:-

PELE’S ACHIEVEMENTS

1. Pele scored his first international goal in his first match against Argentina at the Maracana stadium on July 7, 1957 at the age of 16 to become the youngest player to score in international soccer.

2. In his first World Cup game against the USSR in 1958 he became the youngest player to play in the World Cup at 17 and with his goal against Wales the youngest player to score a goal during a World Cup.

3. In the semi-final against France in 1958 he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick (3 goals in one match) and the youngest player to play in the World Cup final match.

4. In the final he scored 2 goals, one of which was selected as one of the best goals in the history of the World Cup. He lobbed the ball over the defender and then followed up with a volley shot and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

5. He finished the tournament tied for second place in most goals scored (6) in 4 matches and was named young player of the tournament. He won the Silver Ball as the second best player behind Didi (another Brazilian).

6. In the 1970 World Cup he was named Player of the tournament.

7. Pele is considered by FIFA as the most prolific scorer in history with 1281 goals in 1363 matches in all competitions.

8. He scored in two different World Cup finals.

9. After the 1958 World Cup he was declared by the Brazilian government an “official national treasure” to ward off offers from European clubs and prevent him from being transferred out of the country.

10. Which other player could cause the Nigerian Civil War in 1967 to be put on a 48 hour ceasefire so that they could watch him play an exhibition game in Lagos?

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS

1) Achievements with Santos- Copa Libertadores (twice), Campeonato Paulista (10 times), Taça Brazil (5 times), Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa (once), Torneio Rio-São Paulo ( 4 times), Intercontinental Cup (twice) and Recopa Intercontinental: (once).

2) Achievements with New York Cosmos- North American Soccer League, Soccer Bowl (once).

INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS WITH BRAZIL

• Roca Cup- (twice) and FIFA World Cup (three times).

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS

1) Santos – Copa Libertadores top scorer: (once) and Campeonato Paulista top scorer: (11 times).

2) Brazil National Team:-

• Copa América top scorer: 1959;

• BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Winner: 1970;

• FIFA World Cup (Best Young Player) Winner: 1958-;

• FIFA World Cup Silver Boot: 1958;

• FIFA World Cup Silver Ball: 1958;

• FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (Best Player) Winner: 1970;

• Athlete of the Century, elected by world wide journalists, poll by French daily L’Equipe: 1981;

• South American Footballer of the Year: 1973;

• Inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993;

• Knight Commander of the British Empire: 1997;

• In 1989 DPR Korea issued a postage stamp depicting Pelé;

• Athlete of the Century, by Reuters News Agency: 1999;

• Athlete of the Century, elected by International Olympic Committee: 1999;

• UNICEF Football Player of the Century: 1999;

• TIME One of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century: 1999;

• FIFA Player of the Century: 2000 (shared with Maradona);

• Football Player of the Century, elected by France Football’s Golden Ball Winners: 1999;

• Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999;

• South America Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999;

• Laureus World Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award from South African President Nelson Mandela: 2000.

It was not always plain sailing for Pele. He missed most of the 1962 World Cup through injury. And being the best player in the world was not without its risks.

In the1966 World Cup in England, with Brazil poised to win their third consecutive World Cup including their second on European soil, Pele’s pre-eminence in world soccer did not go unnoticed. To his opponents he had to be stopped even by foul means and so he was at the end of some of the most brutal tackles ever seen in the World Cup by Bulgaria and Portugal. He got no protection from the referees and no one was red-carded for hacking him down.

But the objective was achieved as Pele missed most of Brazil’s matches and Brazil got eliminated early. After the tournament Pele said that he would never play in the World Cup again.

He did play again and eventually retired in 1977 and since then he has been a worldwide ambassador for soccer and a leading contributor to charity all over the world.

In order to put Pele’s playing career (1956-1977) in its proper perspective it is useful to match it against the achievements of his two main rivals for greatest player, Maradona (1976-1997) and Messi (2004-present) and compare the results.

Sportsmail gathered the facts and put them together a 3 way comparison (see Mail Online- Magic Messi stakes his claim to be the greatest ever but is he better than Pele and Maradona? by Gerard Brand, March 13, 2013).

THE ULTIMATE COMPARISON: MESSI, MARADONA AND PELE

The results were:-

1. Pele romps both in average goals per game (0.94) to Messi (0.69) and Maradona (0.52).

2. As regards international caps (goals), Pele 92 (77) has more than twice Maradona’s goals in almost the same amount of games 91 (34) while Messi 77 (31) fares better than his compatriot but is a long way behind Pele.

3. Pele has 12 World Cup goals in 14 games while Maradona only has 8 goals in much more games (21) with Messi is far behind with only 1 goal in 8 games.

4. Messi has the same amount of major honors (10) as Pele but Pele has three World Cups and Messi has none. Maradona has the least amount of major honors (6) but has one World Cup.

Messi is only twenty five and still playing and the question is whether he will ever be able to beat Pele’s records. The answer seems to be no. Even if he catches Pele’s international goals it will take him much more games and his chances of winning three World Cups trophies are nil since they are only played every four years.

Like every other sport, the circumstances and conditions of soccer have improved from generation to generation. For example, today’s players wear lighter boots, are better trained and have better diets. But despite these improvements, no one has been able to match let alone surpass Pele’s record of achievements which testifies to the enormity of his success.

It is for this reason that I think Pele is the greatest of all time.

Victor A. Dixon

October 6, 2013

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Premier League Match Time: Blackpool Vs Everton

It's Premier League match time as Blackpool host Everton on Saturday afternoon. Blackpool are coming off a home win against West Brom in match week ten, their first, in their debut season in the Premier League.

Their critics may carp at Blackpool's apprehensive struggle to put away a win against nine-man Albion on the day, but West Brom was playing to a defensive plan with two banks of four men each. But at the end of the day the Seasiders banked three full points and they will not be complaining any time soon about that.

Blackpool have been the surprise package of the season and with wins against Liverpool and Newcastle before their third win last week, the Tangerines are in the top ten, thereby countering pre-tournament predictions of being relegation favorites.

Among the players who have made it possible is Elliot Grandin, and DJ Campbell's return to Ian Holloway's side on deadline day has been another crucible factor.

Blackpool skipper Charlie Adam in midfield has been a revelation. Blackpool owe their promotion to the Premier League to the twenty-four year old, who, with his pace and guile, has been key to Blackpool's attack strategy this season.

For Everton, David Moyes will welcome the return from injury of Anichebe and Rodwell. Both players turned out for the Everton Reserves team on Wednesday, against the Blackpool Reserves, with Rodwell spending nearly an hour on the pitch, while Anichebe saw 20 minutes of action at the end. Rodwell appears certain to play in the Blackpool game on Saturday

Striker Jermaine Beckford scored in the 5-0 win against the Blackpool Reserves and that is a positive sign for the Toffees, ahead of Saturday's Premier League encounter against the same rivals, at Bloomfield Road.

Everton are among the teams to have had a relatively quiet start this season but they are beginning to rumble and that's bad news for other top six aspirants like Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Home advantage will work in Blackpool's favor especially as Bloomfield Road is not the best of venues, especially for big teams like Everton who are used to certain standards of comfort when they travel.

Almond, Clarke and Baptiste are sidelined with injury on the Blackpool side, while Everton's injury worries include Anichebe, Barkley, Rodwell, Fellaini, Jagielka and Osman.

In the game against Albion, Blackpool used the following players in their starting eleven: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt,

Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Taylor, Fletcher, Campbell, Varney

The following were the substitutes that played in the game: Kagielka, Keinan, Carney, Philips

Everton named the following players in their starting eleven against Stoke: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines,

Coleman, Arteta, Heitinga, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu

The substitutes who features in the match were: Saha, Bilyaletdinov

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What Gifts You Can Give to Football-Crazy Fans

Football – it is the name of the game widely played and loved. It is among the most popular sports throughout our globe. Football and gifts – can you relate them? I do hope many have already started wondering how these can be related to each other. Let me explain that in the rest of this write-up.

What is a gift?

The simple answer to the equally simple question is those are received from your beloved, guests and close ones on an occasion or at any other time are gifts. Usually, we showcase these gifts and it is not about flaunting off what we have, but a signature way to decorate our interiors.

A gift builds up a kind of bonding between the recipient and giver. It is a token of love, blessing and well wishes for the receiver. There are many things that you can give as gifts. A recipe book, a golden necklace, a ceramic showpiece and many more could make ideal gifts. But before you buy gifts for someone, you need to know what the person likes.

What if the person is a football crazy? What could be a fascinating gift for him? Let us examine.

Gifts for Football Maddies

You will come in for wonderful surprise to know there are plethora of gifts for the crazy football fans. We will start with accessories. There is a wider variety of items in this category, ranging from gloves, shoulder pads to helmets, balls and shoes. If anyone in your family is passionate about the game and wants to make a career in this field, think about gifting him anything from such a wonderful options of accessories. He cannot help, but talk highly about your choice. “How did you read my mind?” That will be the first question you are likely to be asked when he will unpack his gift.

Baggy T-shirts are favorite for the footballers as well as their fans. These feel extremely comfortable both at home and when they are playing in the ground. T-shirts could be the most exciting gifts for the soccer fans. Check if the T-shirts are of superior quality and made of fine fabric so that these offers heavenly comfort to the users. It will be great for your nephew or cousin, whoever you want to give a gift to, if the T-shirt has the picture of his favorite player printed on it.

If you have ever collected an autograph of a star player at an event, you can now use it as a madding gift for your brother, cousin or nephew who is a die-hard football fan. It weighs its worth in gold for the person and you will always be remembered by him. Frame the autograph and gift it in a nicely embellished box.

Scrapbook is also a good idea as gifts. It will be of great use to any football maddy. The gift receiver can make a good use of the scrapbook to write about their star players and the most memorable event in details.

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The Importance Of A Goal Keeper In A Soccer Team

As discussed in my soccer formation or system article, a goal keeper in a soccer team is always critical player. He would have to be field regardless of whatever formation or system a team would be put out to play. A goal keeper can be defined as the player who guards the goal of his team during the course of a match. Furthermore he is the only player legally allowed to touch, pick or save the ball with his hands within the six yards box or penalty box. This alone makes him different from all the other players.

Under the laws of soccer, any other player who uses his hand to touch or block the ball purposely would result in a foul minimum and a free kick or penalty would be given to the opposition. Another fact is that most keepers would stay inside the penalty box or not across the half as their job is to keep the ball out of the goal. Technically a goal keeper is the most difficult position to play in. The reason for this is simple even if he saves every shot at him in the match except for conceding the one goal that loses the match for his team, he would become a villain instead of the hero at the end of the match. Here a keeper has to be on own his toes and maintain concentration throughout the whole match as a single mistake or lapse could cause his team to lose.

Therefore typically a goal keeper is treated in a very different way from the rest of the team. The characteristics of a great keeper can be summarized as: Having a good command of the box, having good positioning sense, having good agility or jumping ability and having a good pair of hands. Having a good command of the box, would enable a goal keeper to better or organize "arrange" his defense during opposition corners or free kicks. This is critical as most teams in the modern game do work on their set pieces and just a lapse in defense may result in conceding a goal.

In the past, great keepers have always been seen commanding the box like generals such as Peter Schmeichel of Manchester United fame.Another important aspect is the positioning sense of a keeper. Sometimes it can be akin to a sixth sense of where the ball would be shot towards. In some games, poor positioning of the keeper can result in a goal being scored. Being agile or having good jumping ability has enabled many a keeper to keep out or pull off magnificent saves when the opposition has shot certain goal bound shots. While equipped with a strong pair of hands is a necessity as shots can be coming in at a high speed or from different avenues with a variety of power.

Some of the best keepers in the modern games are Buffon of Italian Giants Juventus and Peter Czech of English Giants Chelsea fame. Each of these keepers owns most of the above characteristics to make them a highly valued member of their teams.Without a doubt, a goal keeper is one of the most specialized positions in soccer or football with their ups and downs in each match.

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What Are the Qualities of a Football Team Striker?

Every team is like a useless pack of cards if there are no good strikers because you can’t win a match without scoring goals and you can’t score goals without having potent strikers. The question then is who is a striker? And what are the qualities of a good striker?

A striker is a football player whose responsibility is to score goals. This simply means that if a striker cannot score goals then he should not be in the team in the first place.

Now, let’s look at the qualities of a good striker or forward. A good striker should have a clear vision just like a good goalkeeper. A good striker should be able to convert any chance to a goal. But he cannot just take his chances if he cannot see very well.

A good striker should have speed. This is where counter attack comes into play. If the strikers in a team lack speed then counter attacks become useless. If you take a look at Spanish, Argentine and Brazilian national teams you will appreciate the value of speed to any striker. Spanish, Argentine and Brazilian teams are so good at counter attacks simply because they have strikers that can move with the ball so fast.

A good striker should have what I call “goal sense”. This simply means that he or she should know when to use the head or leg. He or she should know when to tap in the ball. He or she should know when to pass the ball to another player that is better positioned to score the goal. He or she should also know when to be selfish with the ball.

A good striker should have inner strength, vigor, stamina, or energy. He or she should be able to surmount any kind of opposition once he or she is with the ball. Great strikers of our time such as Samuel Eto’o Fils of Cameroon and FC Barcelona of Spain, Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast and Chelsea FC of England and Wayne Rooney of England and Manchester United of England are some graphic examples of strikers that have the much needed strength.

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The Best Soccer Fitness Workout

Fitness is especially important for soccer players, as they will be called on in a match to run for up to 90 minutes, with no stoppage in time and only sporadic stoppage of action. When preparing for the upcoming soccer season, it is best to play the beautiful game of soccer as a way to get more fit, as there is no substitute for the game. Even small-sided games for 15, 20 and 30 minute intervals will help increase fitness and endurance.

As a separate workout away from the game, It is best for soccer players to alternate sprinting, distance and interval running during a fitness workout. With each workout, players should gradually increase repetitions and improve times.

Here are the best drills for a soccer fitness workout:

300’s: On a soccer field, start out on the end line and sprint to mid-field up and back 6 times (50 yards x 6 = 300). High school players should try to run these in less than 70 seconds. After each 300, rest for two minutes and then repeat.

Hills: Find a steady incline hill (no “baby” hills)  Sprint up the hill and jog down. The jogging is recovery time, so this can be done slowly. Once players reach the bottom, the should turn around and sprint up the hill again. After five (5) hills, then take a two minutes rest and do five (5) more.

Cones: These are sprints. Place cones about five (5) yards apart for 25 yards.  Players should spring to the first cone and then back, then to the second cone and then back, and so on.  Five cones up and back is one repetition. Do ten (10) reps and then a one (1) minute rest. Then ten (10) more.

Challenged yet? We’re just getting started…

30-30’s: This is interval training.  Players should begin by jogging for a few minutes and then the fun begins. Next is to alternate 30 seconds of jogging with 30 seconds of sprinting.  Do a set of five (5) 30-30’s, then rest two (2) minutes and then five (5) more. 

120’s: This is a full sprint of the length of the soccer field. High school players should try to do this in less than 20 seconds. After reaching the opposite end line, players should jog back, allowing 60 seconds to recover. Do 7-10 of these.

Cooling down and stretching: Players should always take fifteen to twenty minutes to cool down and stretch to conclude fitness training.

Want even more soccer workout information? Total Soccer Fitness is your complete guide to soccer conditioning, which features a free soccer fitness course.

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Soccer Fixture: Chelsea Versus Arsenal

Chelsea and Arsenal met in the First Division of the Football League at Stamford Bridge for the first time on the 9th November, 1907 – 30 years after the stadium had first been opened for use by the London Athletic Club. Chelsea won 2.1 with both goals scored by George Hilsdon. Arsenal’s reply came from Charlie Satterthwaite.

George Hilsdon was the first player to score 100 goals for Chelsea and a weather vane modelled on him can still be seen at Stamford Bridge. Legend has it that Chelsea will suffer ‘great misfortune’ if it is ever removed, as it was during ground works in the late 1970’s when Chelsea were in financial and football decline. Hilsdon was the victim of a gas attack on the Western Front in WWI and never played professional football again, dying in 1941. His grave is unmarked.

This first match was watched by a then record crowd for England’s top division: 65,000. Arsenal were still known as and based at Woolwich Arsenal at the time but they had a huge away following for this match due to it also being the 66th birthday of King Edward VII. The munitions factory – where many of the workers who followed the club were based – was closed for the day, hence they were free to travel to West London.

In fact, Arsenal could have been more local rivals of Chelsea than Tottenham Hotspur. A local businessman – Henry Norris – had a significant role in the development of both clubs. Amassing a fortune from property Norris became a Director and then Chairman of Fulham. Another Edwardian businessman called Henry – Henry Augustus Mears – had acquired Stamford Bridge with a view to it becoming one of the finest venues for association football in the capital if not the whole country. He offered Norris the chance to move Fulham FC to the ground but Norris refused to pay the annual rent of some £1500 and so Mears created his own team – Chelsea FC – in 1905. Had Norris not been so careful with his money, there might not have been a Chelsea football club at all.

Five years later Norris, still Chairman of Fulham became a majority shareholder of Woolwich Arsenal which had gone into voluntary liquidation. Becoming Chairman of that London club too, Norris proposed merging them with Fulham to form a super-club. The move was blocked by the Football League and so Chelsea and Fulham remained local rivals rather than Chelsea and Arsenal.

This match between the two teams in 1907 was the first ever to be played by two London clubs in the First Division and so the first major ‘London derby.’ All subsequent league meetings between the two sides to date have been in the top tier of English football (the old First Division and now the Premier League).

Woolwich Arsenal got their revenge the following season with a 2.1 win on 28th November, 1908 – Chelsea’s goal coming from George Hilsdon again. The Gunners won on Chelsea turf in the season after that as well, before the first draw – 1.1 – in this league fixture on 15th February, 1913. This was the last time the two sides met before Woolwich Arsenal moved to Highbury and changed their name to Arsenal.

Indeed, after that win in their first meeting, Chelsea did not win the fixture again until 13th December, 1919 when they won 3.1 with goals from Robert McNeil, John Cock and Henry Ford in front of a huge post-war crowd of 60,000.

The fixture on 12th October, 1935 was played in front of another enormous crowd: 82,905, which was the second highest recorded attendance for an English league match. It finished in a 1.1 draw. Joseph Bambrick scored for Chelsea and Jack Crayston for Arsenal.

Arsenal’s record league win at Stamford Bridge came in front of 74,667 football fans on 29th November, 1930 – a 5.1 victory, with David Jack scoring a hat-trick as Arsenal moved closer to their first League Championship win and domination of English football in the 1930s. They scored five times again on 24th November, 1934 – in a 5.2 victory this time – with legendary Arsenal centre-forward Ted Drake scoring four of Arsenal’s goals. Drake would go on to manage Chelsea in 1952 and was largely responsible for changing their nickname from The Pensioners to The Blues.

The Gunners also scored five goals in a 5.3 win on 29th October, 2011 with Robin Van Persie scoring a hat-trick for the victors.

Chelsea’s largest win in the fixture came in a 6.0 win in the Premier League on 22nd March, 2014 which was also Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger’s 1000th game in charge. This is the highest number of goals Chelsea have scored against Arsenal in a league fixture at Stamford Bridge and also represented the biggest margin of victory by The Blues. Oscar scored two goals that day alongside one each from Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah in front of an attendance of 41,614.

The sides are neck and neck in terms of wins in this fixture. In the years when Chelsea have gone on to win the League Title they have never lost at home to their rivals from North London, drawing the matches in the 1954/55 and 2004/05 seasons and winning each of them in 2005/06, 2009/10 and 2014/15.

For Arsenal, in the 13 seasons where they have finished as League Champions, they have only lost at Chelsea on two occasions (Chelsea were in the Second Division in the 1988/89 season so there was no fixture) – on 29th August, 1970 when Paddy Mulligan and John Hollins scored for Chelsea and Eddie Kelly got one back for Arsenal – and on 2nd February, 1991. Kerry Dixon and Graham Stuart scored for Chelsea that day with Alan Smith replying for Arsenal in front of a crowd of 29,094. This was the only league defeat of the season for George Graham’s Arsenal team and their first in 27 First Division matches, stretching back to a 2.0 loss at Luton Town on 21st April, 1990.

remeras deportivas 2018

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